Collecchio, 3 February 2023 – Read what was said by Crociati Sporting Director Mauro Pederzoli during a press conference given to journalists in the press room at Collecchio.

“I am here to speak, as sporting director and head of the technical area, because I feel it is right at this time to make my voice heard, I have already done so in the recent past with some of you who are present. I did it on Saturday in an angry moment in Cosenza to our fans, after an annoying defeat. But today more than ever I feel I should be here. The atmosphere and the environment is not calm, due to a second half of the season that has started the way we wanted. First of all I want to send out a clear message: here we have a cohesive society, which works for us and we believe in what we are doing. I want to say this in order to avoid misunderstandings: here there is an ownership and a president who is very present, and if he is not physically there he is always in contact, involved in every choice we make. I want to emphasise that here we work as a united, convinced and determined club. The market was the result of all this, of a well thought-out strategy shared with the owners and the technical department, by which I mean the area that I represent and that of Fabio Pecchia and all his staff. In the last market we made choices, some of which may be unpopular, they may not be liked, but it is part of our job to make these decisions. And these decisions bring judgements, thoughts, which I accept and listen to. But it is clear that in the market there are times when decisions have to be made. But the choices were made with a technical and active thought process, they were made with a collective thought shared by everyone. Everyone else is then free to analyse them as they see fit. On the merits, a player arrived, like Zanimacchia, who is functional, young, strong, and well known by the coach. On those who left, I think it’s fair to say this: those who left did so because they felt a strong need to change environment, I refer especially to Tutino and Romagnoli, who asked us to leave when they heard about interest elsewhere. Oosterwolde is a different matter, it is a decision that had important economic factors. The window is over, for us today the squad is complete, balanced, we absolutely want to give consistency to the work of the coach, we want to continue the work begun at Pejo and reaffirm with conviction and confidence, but also give responsibility, to the team. This is the right statement to make.


“The decisions are made as a collective, I’ve always said this. At Parma we work as a team even off the pitch, even when we talk about the transfer market. They are decisions shared by the ownership, the sports management, the coach and his staff. Choices that are always collective, otherwise they would not be made. The objective is to continue with the growth of our team, which is made in a certain way and with a certain criterion. With young and not so young players, together with more mature players. And to have this identity. Obviously winning games, it’s not that I’m here to say otherwise. What is important is to continue along the path with our mentality and our philosophy, both on and off the pitch. We are Parma, we are an ambitious club. The concept is to grow, what else is there to discuss? We have just suffered a horrendous defeat, we have to get back on the path we have strayed from with determination, with desire, with passion and move forward. The president’s reaction is one of determination, he is not happy with the Cosenza defeat and tenth place in the standings. But he does not move one millimetre from his determination to succeed in making a club that can really give everyone satisfaction. His presence, his probing, is relentless. Serie A? We have always spoken of a path that has begun, of the idea, the desire, the determination to build a strong, technical identity, with ambition. And we are on this path. Unfortunately the journey is not always straightforward, we go up, we go down, there is a difficulty, we fall and we get back up. If we fall, we get back up. And we are convinced that we have a squad that can continue on this path of growth with great ambition. Then we’ll re-evaluate at the end, but there is great confidence in these players and in the work of our coach.”


“What happened with Romagnoli is simple: we have read and heard that various rumours are flying around about it. Instead it is very simple. On the last day of the market, late in the morning, the offer from Lecce arrived. At that point Romagnoli made it clear to us that he wanted to return to Serie A. So we as a club, in every department, analysed the situation and gave the go-ahead for the transfer, in the belief that we have more than enough defenders to allow the coach to field a competitive line-up, bearing in mind that Elias Cobbaut will be back with us from Monday. The lack of a signing of a striker? We have plenty of forwards, then everyone will make up their own mind. This is another matter. At Parma we don’t lack forwards, our coach has got us thinking more in an attacking manner more than anything else. And we have strengthened the offensive department with Luca Zanimacchia. It’s clear that we expect a lot from all the players, we also expect more from the forwards, that’s obvious. Scouting is important in our work. At Parma we have a scouting structure that works at full capacity and keeps an eye on the whole footballing world, hence why we have players coming from lots of different countries. The target for this window was Luca Zanimacchia, who was also a target this summer. Requests? Lots of requests for our youngsters, January was very busy saying no for our youngest players. We gave one up (Oosterwolde, ed.) because we felt he was worth it. From an emotional point of view the Men’s First Team is seen, but our Parma also has other things around it. The Youth Sector, the Women’s Sector, to which the club dedicates time and space, but not taking it away from the Men’s First Team. The ownership’s idea is to build a highly structured Club that gives importance to all these aspects. Our work has progressed, the women’s team has made a campaign of purchases and sales, and so has the Youth Sector. Young foreigners? There is an abyss in terms of cost between a young foreign promise and an Italian one, but above all there is great career exposure, a 18-year-old foreigner already has many more first-team appearances than an Italian. This accelerates the career, but there are many motivations. The atmosphere in the locker room is excellent. There are thirty boys, it’s clear that those who play more, as in any team in the world, are happier than those who play less. I think it’s a foregone conclusion and I’m even sorry to make it. Parma is no different from the others: the group works well every day. Then some were less happy than others and when faced with the possibility of going, they spoke out with us. I always think that, beyond the technical qualities, it’s fundamental to have people in the group who want to be there, it’s about conviction, determination, desire, to continue this path that we started together.


“I spoke with them and the whole team in Cosenza, I read today’s communiqué. I regret this unhappiness. But we have too much respect to be able to judge any choice they make. To the fans we must always say thank you, they always follow us and criticise us but out of love. And I always say it: it’s up to us to give to them, and not vice versa. We are hit by the emotional wave of the Cosenza defeat, after a performance that was not up to scratch. But this team, which has lost too much, has never betrayed these values. Commitment, passion, determination, desire, have always been put on the field. Then there is a unique recipe, otherwise we would have already improved. It is a constant work, a work on individual and collective self-esteem, there are technical, tactical, psychological considerations. It’s work that involves a lot of effort, especially from the technical staff. We are aware that the position in the standings is not what we wanted and what we want to have, but we are moving forward. We don’t like the league table, but in our opinion what shouldn’t have been done was to jeopardise the work that Pecchia started months ago, on a squad that we consider to be up to the task. It is true that we have signed one player, others have made more. It will then be the field that will determine the choices. Within the club there is a conviction, shared by all, that it can improve. The group has changed a lot compared to Serie A, some have stayed, but the group has changed a lot. The technical leadership has changed, that counts a lot. In this path of growth there is no linearity, there are moments of adjustment and there are improvements. It’s clear that we would have liked to win every game. The return journey from Cosenza I can assure you was not pleasant, the team had the face of a loser. I did not perceive any indifference from the players, the team feels a strong sense of responsibility towards the fans, the city and the jersey. They feel it strongly. Now that we are not able to reciprocate it at this time as we would all like, it is indisputable. But it is equally indisputable that there is this feeling, this desire to go out and return to being able to smile at everyone.


“We were aware that in the summer we had a large squad, because it was a squad that had to take us to the end. That is how it will be, but we have reduced it for the reasons I have explained. It remains a full-bodied squad, we’re not short or that the coach has few choices. It’s a full-bodied squad, balanced, allowing changes of position, changes of characteristic, with multifunctional players. Charpentier? He’s doing well, he’s also getting minutes. He can give us a lot, because he’s structured, he has great qualities in the penalty area both in aerial and ground play, he has great physicality, as well as a sense of goal. Contract renewals? We haven’t spoken to anyone, right now it’s clear that we have to be focused on the field, to improve our performance and our results. Then we’ll talk about the rest’.